3 Things You Should Know About iOS 11 and App Ratings
During WWDC this year, Apple shared more about their new approach to App Store Ratings and Reviews. Given our expertise in this area, we thought we’d take a few moments to share what we know about iOS 11 and app ratings.
First, announcements and their changes from pre-iOS 11:
- Apple shared that ratings and reviews will be cumulative, across versions of the app. Similar to the Google Play Store, an app’s rating will not reset each version (as it does today), but will instead reflect its overall rating. Publishers will have the ability to reset the app’s rating at their discretion, so should you find yourself in a massive ratings hole and a new version that should improve the customer experience, it is possible to start again.
- From iOS 11 on, Apple wants publishers to use the provided API for requesting reviews and will be rejecting apps built for iOS 11 that are using custom review prompts instead of Apple’s API.
- Responses to App Store reviews are encouraged and Apple has now shared some simple guidelines about review responses. Specifically, “App Store customer reviews can be an integral part of the app experience, so you should treat customers with respect when responding to their comments. Keep your responses targeted to the user’s comments and do not include personal information, spam, or marketing in your response.”
At Apptentive, we’re focused on helping our customers reach out to their mobile consumers to understand how they’re feeling; make improvements to their products and customer experience; and activate evangelists. With our mission to give every customer a voice, we’ve long played a hand in helping companies understand when fans are ready to rate the company’s app in the app store.
We were excited when Apple first shared that they were going to start making this easier, with an in-app review prompt. Now that we’ve had many customers incorporate our latest iOS SDK, which supports the new rating API, we can definitively say that it is a much better experience for people who use mobile apps. People are interrupted less, the experience of leaving a rating and review is much faster, and no one has to leave the app to share feedback.
In preparing for iOS 11, we believe every company should plan on adopting the new Ratings API. Because of the restrictions on how many times you can ask a consumer to rate the app, it’s important that in getting ready for iOS 11, your team also focuses on the instrumentation of any ratings flows you roll out (or if you are an Apptentive customer, we can just handle it for you). Being thoughtful and analytical about the number of times you’re calling the Apple API is an absolute must in iOS 11.
More importantly, however, we believe that in advance of iOS 11, it’s time for companies to really take the next step in their customer experience measurement and management. Apple has made it incredibly easy to rate the app in the App Store, but each company has to do the heavy lifting of understanding who their fans are, where they have room for improvement and how to meaningfully connect with their audience on an ongoing basis.
A customer’s rating is just a small piece of understanding how they feel —their feedback and the state of their relationship to the company has never mattered more. Here is a visual representation of what it means to take a more comprehensive approach to understanding your customers.
If your teams need any help understanding the relationship between app ratings, mobile customer experience management and long-term customer value, let us know, as we can help.